Most American rapes go unreported and unpunished. In part because ideas about what constitutes a ‘‘real rape’’ still hinder investigations and prosecutions, and many police officers continue to read vulnerability as complicity. But there is another unacknowledged side to the investigation of sexual assault: the huge numbers of victims who are children or teenagers. New Haven, CT detectives estimate that more than 80 percent of their cases involve minors — a number only slightly higher than national statistics. Such cases are rarely reported immediately, which means that there is rarely any physical evidence to investigate. "To Catch a Rapist:" How New Haven's special-victims unit fights a hidden epidemic of sexual assault that is disturbingly difficult to investigate. (Some may find the descriptions and topics in this article disturbing or triggering.)
Raising Teenagers: The Mother of All Problems by Rachel Cusk [New York Times]
Children are characters in the family story we tell — until, one day, they start telling it themselves.
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Teaching Good Sex -- a profile of Philadelphia's Friends' Central School's Sexuality and Society course and its teacher Al Vernacchio, by Laurie Abraham, author of the book "The Husbands and Wives Club." (Descriptions in the first link may be NSFW.) [more inside]
What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
A 15 year-old girl was dragged behind a van as punishment. Her crime was being unable to keep up on a forced run at an at-risk youths boot camp, Love Demonstrated Ministries. It's not the first time something like this has happened. These boot camps and reform schools are still in operation, so it will continue to happen.
Operation Teenage Angst Fest. Is all the war talk getting you down? Make like your younger self and wallow in some self-obsessed teen angst. You might even want to dig our your old journals and submit. Keep in mind the cardinal rule, though: it has to suck.
"Children Drink 25% of Alcohol Consumed in the U.S." At least according to the attention-grabbing headline of a press release recently issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The only problem is that it wasn't true. The organization had miscalculated the data, and the figure was actually closer to 11%. It was also misleading, since the word "children" included 18, 19, and 20 year-olds (who presumably do most of the drinking). Aside from yet another lesson in the inherent malleability of statistics, what conclusions should we draw from this study? Should we accept that teenagers are going to drink, and teach moderation? Or is stricter enforcement of the 21 age-limit the way to go? I'm also interested in the views of those living in (more enlightened?) countries with a lower drinking age.
Suspects in Dartmouth Profs' Deaths Held in Indiana -- Two teenagers (allegedly) brutally stabbed two professors. Am I the only one deeply disturbed by all these underaged murderers in recent years? And to resurrect an old debate from my college criminology classes: Are these "killer kids" a product of nature (as in, they're born with something loose) or nurture (as in, lousy parenting)?